The 12 Best B2B Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics

B2B (business-to-business) lead generation strategies are designed to identify and attract potential business customers or clients. The idea is to help your business find qualified leads and convert them into paying customers by building a robust lead pipeline.

lead-generation-strategiesLead generation. Image Credit: Le Moal

Your efforts can encompass content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing among other tactics. The benefits of B2B lead generation strategies are diverse but they all aim for meaningful and productive engagement with the market. Effective lead generation strategies bring in pre-qualified leads who are likely to become paying customers. Targeted B2B lead generation also reduces your marketing costs by focusing resources on those prospects who are most likely to convert and minimizing scattershot efforts. The process should establish a pipeline of potential customers and foster long-term business relationships. Successful B2B lead generation requires a thoroughly planned, multi-channel approach that coordinates business goals with the target audience.

Listed below are 12 key strategies that can give you serious advantages in the market and customers' minds.

1. Use Niche Online Directories

Niche online directories such as are invaluable B2B marketing tools. They are especially useful if you're targeting a specific industry, sector, or audience. Spend the time to research and identify online directories that encompass your specific industry, niche, or target sector/demographic. Filter for reputable directories with substantial user bases. Create detailed and accurate listings in the directories you choose to engage with. Ensure that your business name, contact information, description, and website URL are consistent and up to date, and include as much information as you can without overcrowding your listing. Use highly targeted  keywords in your directory listings so you’ll be more visible to searches. You can also encourage positive reviews and ratings. Positive reviews are extremely effective at building trust and credibility with potential clients. Respond promptly and professionally to any negative reviews to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. Other useful tools are: multimedia, valuable content, networking, paid advertising, link building, and branding consistency.

Niche directories can be central to a well-constructed B2B marketing strategy. They’ll help you reach a highly targeted audience and establish credibility within your industry. To make the most of these channels, create content your target market will value and then engage thoughtfully with them.

2. Implement SEO Strategy

An effective SEO (search engine optimization) strategy improves your website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords. When potential B2B buyers search for products or services related to your business, they’re far more likely to discover you if you’ve optimized your content for engines like Google. This increased visibility drives organic traffic to your site, including prospects who are actively seeking solutions in your industry. 

SEO can also bring in high-quality leads. When your website ranks highly for relevant keywords, it attracts potential buyers who are already interested in your offerings. These leads will be further along in the buyer's journey, making them more convertible. 

Good SEO strategies are cost-effective ways to generate organic traffic, enhance your credibility, provide a better experience, and place you at a competitive advantage. Modern B2B buyers search for information and solutions online, so you must meet them where they are. Good SEO gives you a competitive advantage, enhances your credibility, and generates organic traffic. 

3. Run PPC Campaigns

A PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign can be great for B2B marketing. PPC advertising allows your business to rank highly in the SERPs and on online platforms. Visibility drives traffic and opportunities. Additionally, PPC platforms offer advanced targeting options so you can focus your ads on specific demographics, locations, sectors, and keywords. With PPC, you have full control over your advertising spending. You can set daily or monthly limits to manage your advertising expenses precisely. Other benefits include: quick testing and optimization, more remarketing opportunities, simple scalability, and extensive analytics to track the performance of your campaigns in real-time.

4. Send Cold Emails

Cold emailing is a proactive way to generate new leads and expand your pool of potential B2B clients. If the target individuals or businesses fit your ideal audience, respondents will be of high quality. They are also considerably more effective if the emails are personalized to individuals; make it clear you wish to address their specific needs and pain points. Additionally, when you have one-to-one communication with decision makers and key contacts within target companies, you immediately begin building relationships. 

Compared to some other forms of outreach, cold emails are cost-effective ways to reach a large number of prospects. The strategy is scalable, data-driven, and helps you build brand awareness. Building and maintaining relevant contact lists is, however, not free. 

5. Create Personalized Videos

Personalized videos can be powerful tools in B2B marketing because they create a more engaging and customized experience for your target audience. They tend to result in increased engagement, improved click-through rates, better lead generation, enhanced account-based marketing, and genuine human connections.

When making personalized marketing videos, it's crucial to strike a balance between personalization and data privacy. Ensure that you have the necessary consent and adhere to data protection regulations to maintain trust with your audience. 

6. Run A/B Tests

A/B or split tests can be super informative in B2B marketing for lots of reasons. These evaluations compare the performance of two versions of your marketing campaign. The resulting data allows you to identify which aspects of your marketing lead to better conversion rates. Subject lines, personalization, content, landing pages, ad campaigns, offerings, etc. can all be evaluated for cost-effectiveness. Additionally, A/B tests help you understand what type of content resonates with your B2B audience so you can refine your messaging. B2B buyers often respond well to personalized content. A/B testing lets you experiment with different levels of this. Ultimately, the tests should make subsequent marketing efforts perform better.

7. Offer Free Incentives

Free incentives are great aids in B2B marketing. Incentives serve as lead magnets, attracting potential B2B clients to engage with you, and holding their attention for longer. Targeted individuals are more likely to follow links if they see value in your incentive, even if they know a sales pitch will follow. Resources like ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, or online tools position you as a knowledge source rather than just a sales machine.

Some free incentives come in the form of trial periods or consultation offers for your products or services. This makes existing users more likely to become paying clients. This approach can also provide feedback and enable you to conduct market research.

When offering incentives in this way, the offerings need to be relevant and valuable to your potential customers. Create a clear strategy that captures and nurtures leads who use these incentives.

8. Craft Strong CTA Copy

A well-written and engaging call to action (CTA) can carry a prospective customer from their first casual engagement through to the second marketing tier, converting a prospect into a contact. If the CTA triggers follow-through engagement such as signing up for a newsletter, requesting a demo, or downloading a whitepaper, your marketing copy has served its purpose. A strong CTA will instill trust in contacts and give your marketing content more purpose. 

Effective CTA copy often suggests urgency, though it’s important not to overstep and create a follow-on disappointment. Phrases like "Act Now," "Limited Time Offer," or "Don't Miss Out" encourage potential clients to take action quickly, but they can also become overused. Add such phrases sparingly. 

Your CTA should demonstrate that you understand clients’ problems and have the right solutions. It should resonate with the people you wish to attract, positioning you as a sympathetic and valuable partner. 

Effective CTAs improve the overall user experience on your website or in your marketing materials. Both you and your users should benefit when they answer your call to action — you gain a lead and they gain access to something useful. Click-through rates and conversion rates differ based on the CTA style, so pick the one that suits your target market best. 

Strong CTA copy in B2B marketing is critical to a well-made messaging strategy. It guides prospects, encourages action, communicates value, and helps you achieve your marketing objectives.

9. Optimize Lead Gen Forms

Lead generation forms play a crucial role in B2B marketing. Their purpose is to capture high-quality leads and lift the overall effectiveness of your lead generation efforts. Good ones should reduce friction and make it easy for B2B prospects to submit their information. Optimized forms are user-friendly and intuitive. They provide a positive user experience by guiding visitors through the form-filling process, increasing completion rates. Your lead gen forms should also minimize errors and incomplete submissions, resulting in more accurate lead data. Lead gen forms can collect data that allows you to segment your leads into different categories. This segmentation can send users to targeted versions of follow-on pages based on the data they give you. You should also consider: using progressive profiling for returning visitors, providing a brief explanation for why you collect information, adding completion time estimates, and including clear error messages that help users correct any mistakes or omissions in real time. Emphasize your commitment to data security and privacy compliance and redirect users to a thank you or confirmation page that explains the next steps or links them to resources.

By optimizing your lead generation forms in B2B marketing, you can smooth the acquisition process, capture more qualified leads, and improve your conversion rates.

10. Improve UX

An enhanced user experience (UX) in B2B marketing gives you better conversion and engagement rates. You can move leads smoothly through your marketing materials with less friction and fewer abandonments.

Appealing websites and digital marketing collateral are inherently engaging. For example, intuitive and easy-to-navigate landing pages, websites, data, background provisions, and attention flow make visitors likely to take the actions you want. High-functioning websites or marketing collateral, particularly with multi-platform interoperability, build trust, credibility, and engagement with your visitors. These tools present an impression of competence, reducing bounce rates and enhancing user consumption of your offerings. This is a foundation for brand loyalty. Google and other search engines view user experience as a significant factor. This includes an assessment of navigability, loading times, and accessibility. Observe and optimize based on real user data and A/B testing.

A quality UX in B2B marketing has a direct impact on engagement, conversion rates, credibility, and overall customer satisfaction.

11. Enable Automation on Lead Gen Tasks

Automate your lead generation tasks to streamline your client relationship processes and save time. First, clearly define your B2B lead generation goals. They'll likely be particular to your business but will include lead quality criteria, target audience profiles, click-through rates, conversion rates, and a variety of other factors. Analyze your target audience as distinct segments based on characteristics like industry, job role, company size, and behavior. This lets you tailor your lead generation automation.

Choose an email marketing platform that allows you to build email campaigns, drip sequences, and lead nurturing plans without expending too much effort. A wide range of options include Mailchimp, HubSpot, and Marketo. Use trigger-based emails for welcome, follow-ups, or abandoned cart reminders.

Choose a quality CRM (customer relationship management) system to manage and track leads. CRMs like Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, and Zoho CRM equip you with lead scoring, sales automation, reporting, and other powerful tools.

It's also worth evaluating marketing automation tools like HubSpot, Pardot, or ActiveCampaign. They contain automation capabilities such as lead scoring and social media automation. It takes experience to build out useful programs, so you may need to contract these services out while you learn.

Tools like Unbounce, Leadpages, or Wufoo can create sticky custom landing pages and lead-capture tools. You should aim to integrate these with your CRM or email marketing platform. Score leads to prioritize them based on your interpretation of their readiness to make a purchase or engage further. It’s also smart to apply social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to automate posts, engage with followers, and promote content that you believe will drive traffic.

Integrate chatbots into your website to engage with visitors in real time. 

Regularly analyze the performance of your tools, processes, and results to refine your strategies. If you collect data from European leads, ensure your lead generation processes comply with GDPR and any other relevant data regulations.

Lead generation automation in B2B marketing should aid and optimize your efforts, generate higher-quality leads, and nurture them efficiently through the sales funnel.

12. Research Target Audience

Success in B2B marketing requires honest research of your target audience. It can have a profound impact on your success because it hones your collateral and engagement methods. Research teaches you about the needs, challenges, and pain points of your targets. From there, you can tailor your marketing messages and solutions and personalize content to meet those needs and hold visitors’ attention.

Multiple stakeholders can influence customers’ purchasing decisions. Research helps you identify the influencers and gatekeepers within the target organizations. Go to where your target audience is, rather than the sites and engagement points you can most easily reach. Study your competitors’ marketing and the steps in their process. This equips you with some insight into where and how you can gain an advantage over them. Target your product or service development by understanding what features or solutions your market values. Additionally, your research will help you define your buyer personas and humanize your target customers to meet both their real and perceived needs. Research helps ensure consistency in messaging and helps establish baseline metrics and KPIs. By tracking these metrics over time, you can clinically evaluate the success of your marketing campaigns.

Researching the target audience is a foundational step in marketing. It helps you to create more relevant and effective strategies and improve customer acquisition and retention.

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